Windows Server 2012 Released to Manufacturing
Windows Server 2012 was released today to hardware manufacturers, along with the Windows 8 client, and Microsoft plans to release Visual Studio 2012 and .NET Framework 4.5 later this month.
On top of Window 8's release-to-manufacturing (RTM) status announced today, Microsoft indicated that Windows Server 2012 has hit its RTM milestone. Other important Microsoft stack components are closely following on those Windows releases. For instance, Microsoft plans to release Visual Studio 2012 and .NET Framework 4.5 to developers on August 15.
The Windows Server 2012 RTM signals that server hardware manufacturers can begin imaging the Microsoft's newest server OS onto new machines. However, "general availability" of Windows Server 2012 is scheduled for September 4, which will be the earliest date that the public can expect to see new commercial-release server hardware products running Windows Server 2012.
Microsoft also announced that September 4 will mark an "online launch event" for Windows Server 2012. A reminder for that launch event can be accessed at this page.
Windows Server 2012 (formerly code-named "Windows Server 8") was last made available as a "release candidate" (RC) version in May. The RC was Microsoft's last test version of the new operating system. A free evaluation copy of the Windows Server 2012 RC is still available for download at this page.
Microsoft offers many resources for Windows Server 2012 testers. There's a free Microsoft Press e-book, called "Introduction Windows Server 2012," that can downloaded at this page. TechNet videos on Windows Server 2012 are listed here. Certification exams are described at this Microsoft learning page. Microsoft provides additional reference materials on Windows Server 2012 at this TechNet library page.
Microsoft made tons of changes in rolling out Windows Server 2012. For a focused IT pro review of the new server's features, see this recently published Redmond magazine article by Windows Server expert and Microsoft MVP Brien Posey.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.